Category Archives: Art and Illustration

Fine art and illustration by Rena Hopkins of the Divine Iguana

Winter is for Undeath

I’ve been negligent.  The world has been shifting and I did not tell you.

A very (very) few of you may know that I worked in theatre a long time ago in the baby years of my artistic career.  I designed costumes, I sewed costumes, I worked in prop departments and had a promising career laying out before me.  As happens to many poor folks with big dreams, I hit a small bump in my road and those dreams for the future were de-railed by the immediate need to eat and pay rent.  I lived in my car, I framed pictures, I worked for a few more years with a theatre troupe that was a bad fit for my aesthetic…

then I gave up.

And then this winter…

NERVE Productions Dracula
NERVE Productions Dracula

I found my people, and they are RAW.


Working with a brilliant troupe of performers and creatives led by the razor sharp Kathe Koja to create a production like nothing you’ve seen before.  Immersive, mind rattling theatre that assaults every sense.  Theatre stripped to its bones and left bleeding before you. Scenes marked by shadows. Smells of the earth, and sex and fear.   And the costumes…

Rick Leider's Drac Portrait
Dracula meets Jonathan Harker
Photo by Rick Leider

This production is already run its course.  But there is more to come, and soon.  We are thinking now of Heironymous  Bosch, of labyrinthian spaces and the green light of old monitors.

I promise to keep you better informed.


Introducing Best Friend Earrings

Mr. Bob The wonder bagle
Mr. Bob The wonder bagle

Those of you who know me are aware that the only thing I love more than my pets is…nothing.  There is absolutely nothing that I care about more than my animals.

After adopting Mr. Bob I became painfully aware of how may animals need our help.  I can’t adopt them all, so I devised these earrings as a way of providing support to those organizations who do the hard work of rescuing animals.  Every dollar helps.

BTW If you’d like to see an endless stream of cute dog pics, follow Mr. Bob on instagram @SeniorBasset


Antique illustrations of popular (and some obscure) dog breeds (with some original Divine Iguana illustrations for those breeds that have changed A LOT over the last 100 years).  Decoupaged onto the backs of vintage poker chip and game piece earrings and hung with assorted colors of ceramic beads to make simply adorable earrings.

$2 from the sale of each pair of Best Friends Earrings goes to support animal rescue. 

What Breeds are available?

As of today there are 55 different dog images available in the series, with more coming all the time.  And yes, there will soon be cats as well :)  All the current breeds are shown below.  Don’t see your pet?  Send me a message and I’ll add your critter to the wish list.

Where can I get these?

In the Detroit area you can find the Best Friends Earrings at Poesy Gallery on Rochester Rd in Royal Oak, The Peacock Room in the Park Shelton in Downtown, and in the Divine Iguana Boutique inside the Rust Belt Market (open Saturday and Sundays only).

Cincinnati fans can find these at Indigenous in O’Bryonville.

Can’t get to any of these locations?  Order a pair through Etsy.

Getting ready for TeslaCon

Oh, the amazing things I have prepared for the Divine Iguana’s debut at TeslaCon 2013

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen!  The Divine Iguana is gearing up (no pun intended) and heading to the finest Steampunk event in the country.

Have I made a fantastic new outfit? No.  Instead I’ve been toiling away making amazing new things to share.  New cards.  New prints.  New necklaces from very, very old things.  Simply the finest accessories and the most intriguing images.

This traveling art carny is packing up the gypsy layers and the steamer trunks and heading to Madison with a cargo of curiosities that I can hardly wait to share.

Among the new delights is 8×10 prints of one of my favorite notecard images..Pearls of Wicked Wisdom.

just like this, only bigger.

And this simply stunning new Black Cat print, a companion to my Black Cat notecard series and to the Black Cat collage sheet’s I’ve made available on PassionFruits Images.

Black Cat Print by Rena Hopkins

This handsome fellow will be making his public debut at TeslaCon.

I’m sleep-deprived and under costumed, but I’m very proud to be able to say that I am a

YAY! The Divine Iguana is soooo excited!

Note cards in boxes, or note card sets or boxed note cards…whatever. I made some.

That’s right…boxed notecard sets.  So exciting!

I’m pretty proud of myself.  As I prepare for the epic awesomeness that will be this years Teslacon I’m also honing the items that I hope to show this coming year at my very first wholesale show.  New up (and pretty spiffy, if I do say so myself) are boxed note card sets.

Vintage Airships Notecard Set
Who Doesn’t Love a Dirigible?

Newest in the line-up is this awesome set of Vintage Airship cards.  Six blank note cards with matching cream envelopes in a classy little package.  Adapted from antique illustrations, layered with lots of vintage textures and digitally altered to create gorgeous little cards.

They are printed on the same high quality paper as my fine art prints and are just as suitable for framing as for mailing.

Right now they are only available at the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale, MI.,  but they’ll be on Etsy soon (very soon.  maybe even tomorrow).  I’ll have these pretty little fellows at Teslacon, too.

The big question is, do I make 8×10 prints to go along with them?  Would you like to see these fellows in a larger format?

Package front of the Vintage Airships Note card set from Divine Iguana
How cool would this be as a framed 8×10 over your desk? Pretty cool, right?